Ohio State head coach Ryan Day earns contract extension through 2028
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Ohio State head coach Ryan Day earns contract extension through 2028

Unfounded rumors swirled in the offseason that Ryan Day was considering a jump to the NFL after three seasons as the Buckeyes' head coach.

Those rumblings can be put to rest for the foreseeable future.

Ohio State announced Wednesday that Day will receive a two-year contract extension through the end of the 2028 football season, increasing his total compensation to $9.5 million annually with a base salary of $2 million per year, per approval by the Board of Trustees.

Day has won 34 of his 38 games as the head coach at Ohio State, winning 23 of his 24 games against Big Ten opponents while also making two straight trips to College Football Playoff and a national championship game appearance.

Day initially signed a five-year deal that paid him $4.5 million a year when he became the Buckeyes' head coach in 2019. He signed an extension in 2020 that ran through the 2026 season and paid him $6.5 million for the 2021 season and $7.6 million for the 2022 season.

That contract extension made Day the second-highest paid coach in the Big Ten for the 2021 season, trailing Penn State's James Franklin at $7 million for the 2021 season. Franklin and Michigan State's Mel Tucker signed 10-year contracts this offseason, with Tucker's deal worth $9.5 million per year and Franklin's worth $8.5 million per year.

Day's extension ties him with Tucker as the highest paid head coach in the Big Ten conference.

According to USA Today, the top-10 highest-paid coaches in college football for the 2021 season were Alabama's Nick Saban (a deal worth $9.753 million per year), LSU's Ed Orgeron ($9.012 million), Clemson's Dabo Swinney ($9.508 million), Stanford's David Shaw ($8.924 million), Oklahoma's Lincoln Riley ($7.672 million), Florida's Dan Mullen ($7.57 million), Texas A&M's Jimbo Fisher, ($7.5 million), Georgia's Kirby Smart ($7.133 million), Franklin ($7 million), and Day was No. 10.

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The Buckeyes finished the 2021 regular season with a 10-2 record, losing to Michigan for the first time since 2011 and missing the Big Ten championship game for the first time since 2016.

In December, two weeks after the end of the regular season, a CBS Sports report surfaced that linked Day to the Chicago Bears' head coaching job that opened after the Bears fired Matt Nagy.

Both Day and Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith denied that there was any legitimacy to the report.

"There's nothing to it There's no truth to it," Day said. "I love Ohio State and I love being the head coach at Ohio State."

Smith said in February that he didn't feel any pressure to sign Day to a new deal and that contract extension talks had not yet begun.

"I don’t feel an urgency, no," Smith said. "I feel like we need to do it the right way with he and his family and with the university president and board of trustees, and we'll get to that. But historically, you guys have watched, I have always tried to make sure that we compensate consistent with expectations and performance. But I don’t feel a sense of urgency."

Smith and the Buckeyes soon did get around to those discussions, and now Day is solidified with Ohio State for years to come.

Ohio State also announced a three-year contract extension for men's basketball head coach Chris Holtmann Wednesday through the 2027-28 season, along with a four-year contract for women's basketball head coach Kevin McGuff through the 2025-26 season, a five-year contract for men's lacrosse coach Nick Myers through the 2027 season, and a two-year contract extension for men's hockey head coach Steve Rohlik through the 2025-26 season.